Letters to the Editor

Criminal system not working

When people are punished for potential offenses, we all lose a lot.

Is that not exactly what we do when we sentence a person under the "3-strikes" law? Sadly, most of the people who struck out are not the "worst of the worst."

When we put nonviolent people behind bars for life without the possibility for parole for wallet grabbing or purse snatching, would that not be punishment for anticipated crime? Punish them forever for what they may or may not do in the future. Petty thieves almost always need drug treatment, not death in prison.

Our criminal justice system is punitive and resentful, based on revenge and retribution. How is that working for us? The large rate of recidivism is the answer to that. Society's rage to punish has created an abuse of power that is costing millions of dollars, which could and should be spent for education, transportation, health care and other needs that are underfunded.

– Leslie Berkseth

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates